Archive for June, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

shutterstock_46134457.jpg

Source: Alternative Consumer

Wordless Wednesday

 

 

 

Souce: Cultfit

Supertrees

So it appears that since the island of Singapore doesn’t have time to wait for trees to grow…. they manufactured some. These “supertrees” are part of a landscaping project focused on the cultivation of natural trees and animals from foreign lands (this is interesting given the fact that these supertrees are man-made). The structures range in height from 82-164ft, generate solar power and collect rainwater. Each supertree will act as a trellis for vines and other plants to grow. The cool part of the project (if you’re not afraid of heights) is that skywalks connect the larger trees giving an amazing view of the gardens below.  So what do you think…awkward sustainability ploy or cool tourist attraction?

solar-trees

Source: Ecorazzi.com

Feature Friday

In the spirit of recycling the Purchasing Department is requesting that you return all unused Interdepartmental Delivery envelopes to their office for recirculation. So what do you mean by unused? Well every department needs folders on hand to send mail, but if you have an abundance of envelopes (i.e., a box of envelopes in your copy room that no one uses) they can be shared with other departments who are in need. How do I get them to purchasing? Please place a post-it on the envelopes that says “RECYCLE” and leave them for Mel Burton to collect when he services your area. If you have questions please contact Shannan George, shannan.george@life.edu or x4339.

Why we don’t recycle glass

Each week I am asked by a member of our community why we don’t recycle glass. I found a great letter by Debbie Brady (Sanitation Department) to the people of  Pocatello, Idaho. If I had to write a letter to the people of LIFE it would read much like this.

Not a day goes by that I don’t get asked why glass isn’t collected with the City of Pocatello ‘s recycling program. The City initially had a drop off glass recycling program in 1991. It was discontinued when the cost of collection and transportation to the markets exceeded the value. This is still true today. Our local recycle companies do not accept glass for recycling because 1) there isn’t a local market; and 2) it is too expensive to ship due to the weight. In addition with the co-mingled curbside recycling program, there is a concern that the glass will break during the collection process and contaminate the rest of the recycle materials collected.

I also want to share some additional insight into the issues of glass recycling. During the months of September through December last year, a feasibility study was conducted by the City’s Division of Science and Environment on the potential to develop a glass recycling program within the community. Ultimately, the study determined that no effort should be taken at this time until a more consistent and stable local market for the use of recycled glass cullet exists. Further, the study also revealed the need to conduct more extensive research on the possibility of developing a glass recycling program, complete with a thorough quantitative analysis to gain full perspective of the potential for such a program.

The thing about glass is that glass is made from sand so it is not going to hurt the air, the land, and the water. It takes up space – that’s it. So you have to calculate the cost and the environmental impact of making new glass versus the cost of recycling old glass to turn it into new. Many people argue that the carbon footprint of the trucks and equipment used to collect, store, handle, sort, ship and process glass into new bottles negates most, if not all, of the environmental benefits of recycling glass.

When comparing the environmental benefit of recycling, glass is dead last among all common recyclables. It takes 23 glass bottles with a total weight of 10 pounds to deliver the same environmental benefit as recycling 6 empty aluminum cans with a weight of 3 ounces, or a pound of newspaper, plastic or tin. This is due to the cost of processing/shipping and the carbon footprint associated with the collection and distribution. A community’s proximity to optical sorting and glass manufacturing facilities plays a key role in calculating the return on investment in managing glass.

The City’s Sanitation Department is concerned about the amount of trash that is disposed of in the landfill. As a result, we are always willing to look at cost effective, long term solutions to the disposal of glass. There may come a time when recycling glass is feasible for us and our local recycling companies, but it probably won’t be in the near future.

Wordless Wednesday

Lilac breasted Roller

Source: PhotoBoto.com

And the winner is…..

Here are the answers from Friday’s  giveaway.

  1. What type of driver are you?

a.  Aggressive

b.  Calm and collected

c.  Somewhere in between

Aggressive acceleration, speeding and hard braking at traffic lights or stop signs can deflate your highway gas mileage by up to 33%.

 2.  You’re hosting a cookout and need to stock up on beer.  At the store, you fill your cart with:

a.  Cans

b.  Bottles

c.  A keg

For big bashes, buying a keg and serving beer in reusable cups creates the least waste. Aluminum is the next best choice, its lightweight and easily recycled, landing back on store shelves in 60 days or less. Glass while also recyclable, is heavier, which means more fuel to transport it.

 3.  After mowing the lawn, what do you do with the clippings?

a.  Leave them in the yard

b.  Bag them and put them out by the curb

Annually Americans produce millions of tons of leaf and grass clippings; some end up in landfills. In most cases, leaving the grass on your lawn is not only greener; as the clippings decompose they actually make the soil healthier.

Congratulations to Pat Gilbert!

 Thanks to all who participated!